Aerial Photos of Desert Rock, Mercury and the NNSS, May 24, 2020

The aerial photos below were taken on Sunday, May 24, 2020 from a private aircraft flying in public airspace along the southern border of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). Publication on Dreamland Resort with friendly permission. Click in the photos to enlarge.

Desert Rock air strip near Mercury, NV. Desert Rock was established in 1951 as a staging area to support the testing of nuclear devices in the Nevada Test Site just north of the air strip. Some of the roads and foundations of buildings of the original base camp are still visible on the right.

The town of Mercury is off limits to the public. It is the main gateway for personnel working in the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, former Nevada Test Site NTS). The main check point is near the center of the photo. The Desert Rock airstrip is just out of frame on the left. The road in the foreground leads to US-95. Note that it is illegal to drive up to the check point. There are signs near the highway that mark the end of travel for uncleared personnel.
The two dry lake beds are Frenchman Flat on the right behind the first mountain range and Yucca Lake just barely visible in the background. In front of it is a section of Mercury Highway that leads from Mercury past CP-1, Sedan Crater and Gate 700 to Area 51. The tallest peak behind Frenchman Flat is Bald Mountain near Rachel. The lighter colored area on the far side of Frenchman Flat is the low level nuclear waste disposal site.

This 148 ft. tower is located in Area 20 of the former Nevada Test Site (at 3713'50"N / 11626'50"W). It is left over from Operation Greenwater, the test of the space X-Ray laser system, a part of the Star Wars concept. It was abandoned after the nuclear weapons testing moratorium was passed in 1992.

Related Links:

Raw photos from the 05/24/2020 flight including Creech AFB, Area 51, Rachel, R-4807A and China Lake

Annotated aerial photos showing sites of nuclear tests in the former Nevada Test Site


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